Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Revival!

I believe that the United States is in a religious crisis. (No, I don't have my own self-published book on the prophecies of Revelation about to be released--I'm boringly amillennial.)

I think the word "Christian" is thrown around way too carelessly. A Christian is a Christ-disciple, an obedient student at the feet of his Master.

I hunger and thirst to see a Wesleyan revival in which sinners are saved, saints are perfected in love and the devil is worried. More William Carvosso read and experienced.

I want to see a Wesleyan revival that is the most irrelevant move of God in ecclesiastical history. (By "irrelevant" I mean a revival transcendent from culture, the ability to stand outside and prophetically call the world to come out and "be ye separate"!) Any strategy or program that makes the Church look like a bad knock-off copy of the world makes me leery; here's a motto that won't: "Holiness unto the Lord!"

I want us to remember that the world is full of sinners (and we can't be afraid of telling them they are depraved and only the Lord Jesus can save them). I want to call saints to entire sanctification. I want to see the word "worldliness" brought back into the common vernacular---but without the legalistic trappings.

Demographics studies, charts and figures may have their place but they don't replace the move of the Spirit. Read this from Wesley's Journal for September 20-21, 1743:
Tuesday, 20.—At Trezuthan Downs I preached to two or three thousand people on the 'highway' of the Lord, the way of holiness. We reached Gwennap a little before six and found the plain covered from end to end. It was supposed there were ten thousand people, to whom I preached Christ our 'wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.' I could not conclude till it was so dark we could scarcely see one another. And there was on all sides the deepest attention; none speaking, stirring, or scarcely looking aside. Surely here, though in a temple not made with hands, was God worshiped in 'the beauty of holiness.'

Wednesday, 21.—I was awakened between three and four by a large company of tinners who, fearing they should be too late, had gathered round the house and were singing and praising God. At five I preached once more on 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' They all devoured the Word. Oh, may it be health to their soul and marrow unto their bones!"
That is revival--plain and unflinching. Preaching the Bible. Living in the Spirit. That's what I want. The salvation of burdened sinners, the perfecting of clear-cut saints in holiness and love by the Holy Spirit.

What do you think?